Summary: This message points a finger back at ourselves in dealing with the issue of trouble in the church and how we can avoid it.
TROUBLE IN THE CHURCH
Philippians 1:15-18 Some, to be sure, are preaching Christ even from envy and strife, but some also from good will; 16 the latter do it out of love, knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel; 17 the former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition rather than from pure motives, thinking to cause me distress in my imprisonment. 18 What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed; and in this I rejoice. Yes, and I will rejoice,
INTRODUCTION: WE HAVE ILLUSTRATED FOR US THROUGHOUT SCRIPTURE THE SIMPLE TRUTH THAT THE WORK AND PLAN OF GOD ARE SOVEREIGN. GOD WILL GET DONE WHAT HE WANTS TO GET DONE. EVEN THOUGH IT TOOK NOAH YEARS, GOD GOT IT DONE. EVEN THOUGH THE PEOPLE OF ISRAEL WALKED IN THE WILDERNESS FOR 40 YEARS, GOD GOT IT DONE. ISRAEL WENT INTO EXILE SO GOD COULD GET IT DONE. JESUS WAS ON THE CROSS AND IN THE TOMB, WHY – SO GOD COULD GET IT DONE. REGARDLESS OF ANY AND EVERY EXTERNAL ACTIVITY, GOD WILL ACCOMPLISH WHAT GOD HAS DETERMINED NEEDS TO BE ACCOMPLISHED.
THE QUESTION IS, “AT WHAT COST?” WHAT IS THE COST TO GETTING DONE WHAT GOD HAS ORDAINED TO GET DONE?
I. THE REALITY OF TROUBLE IN THE CHURCH – 1:15
a. PAUL SPEAKS ABOUT TWO FACTIONS IN THE BELIEVERS IN THE PHILIPP IAN CHURCH
i. SOME WHO PREACH OUR ENVY AND STRIFE
ii. SOME WHO PREACH OUT OF LOVE
b. PAUL WOULD ALSO WRITE ABOUT ANOTHER CHURCH WITH SIMILAR ISSUES – THE CHURCH AT CORINTH
1 Corinthians 1:1-7 Paul, called as an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother,
2 To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling, with all who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours: 3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 4 I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given you in Christ Jesus, 5 that in everything you were enriched in Him, in all speech and all knowledge, 6 even as the testimony concerning Christ was confirmed in you, 7 so that you are not lacking in any gift, awaiting eagerly the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ,
i. THE GOOD POINT OF THE CORINTHIAN CHURCH
1. THEY WERE SANCTIFIED – 1 COR 1:2
2. THEY WERE RECIPIENTS OF GRACE – 1 COR 1:4
3. THEY WERE ENRICHED IN EVERY WAY – 1 COR 1:5
4. THE TESTIMONY OF CHRIST WAS CONFIRMED IN THEM – 1 COR 1:6
5. THEY LACKED NO SPIRITUAL GIFT – 1 COR 1:7
ii. THE “NOT SO GOOD” POINTS OF THE CORINTHIAN CHURCH
1. CHAPTER THREE
3. SPIRITUALLY SHALLOW
4. INVOLVED IN QUESTIONABLE ACTIVITIES.
THE CORINTHIAN CHURCH HAD INTERNAL PROBLEMS!
c. PAUL WOULD SPEAK ABOUT THE GALATIAN CHURCH
Galatians 1:7-9 which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! 9 As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!
i. PEOPLE/BELIEVERS OUTSIDE THE CHURCH WHO HAD BEEN CAUSING TROUBLE
THE GALATIAN CHURCH HAD EXTERNAL PROBLEMS.
SUFFICE IT TO SAY CHURCHES HAVE PROBLEMS FROM WITHIN AND FROM WITHOUT!
II. THE SOURCE OF TROUBLE IN THE CHURCH
a. IT IS US!
b. NOTICE – PAUL APPLIED THE ISSUE OF TROUBLE TO PEOPLE
i. SOME DID WHAT THEY WERE DOING OUT OF LOVE
ii. SOME DID WHAT THEY WERE DOING OUT OF ENVY AND STRIFE
c. PAUL SAYS NOTHING TO MAKE US BELIEVE THAT WE ARE DEALING WITH OTHER BELIEVERS AND THE TROUBLE PAUL WAS HAVING
d. THE SOURCE OF THE SOURCE – WHO WE FOLLOW
Romans 6:1-14 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? 2 May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it? 3 Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, 6 knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; 7 for he who has died is freed from sin. 8 Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, 9 knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him. 10 For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. 11 Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts, 13 and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. 14 For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace.